Curr Treat Options Psych (2017) 4:241–253
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (K Chard and T Geracioti, Section Editors)
Relevance of Attachment
Theory to Parenting Concerns
Among Veterans With TBI
Lillian Flores Stevens, Ph.D.
Jennifer L. Hinesley, Psy.D.
Anne Stewart, Ph.D.
Kelly Atwood, Psy.D.
Treven C. Pickett, Psy.D., ABPP-Rp
Mental Health Service, Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center,
1201 Broad Rock Boulevard (116B), Richmond, VA, USA
Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA,
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Virginia Commonwealth
University, Richmond, VA, USA
Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), Hunter Holmes McGuire
Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Richmond, VA, USA
Virginia Treatment Center for Children, Richmond, VA, USA
Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA,
Department of Psychology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, USA
Published online: 24 July 2017
* US Government (outside the USA) 2017
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Keywords Traumatic brain injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered the signature injury of the Operation Enduring
Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn (heretofore referred to as OEF/
OIF/OND) US military conflicts. TBI can result in a myriad of cognitive, emotional, behav-
ioral, and social-relational symptoms that can negatively influence one’s ability to parent.
Additional factors can negatively impact the well-being of military families facing TBI,
further increasing child-parent relationship strain: (1) high base rates of comorbid psychi-
atric conditions; (2) unique demographic characteristics of OEF/OIF/OND veterans; and (3)
deployment stress that negatively impacts the emotional functioning of the veteran and
their family. There remains a paucity of scientific literature supporting clinical interventions
for improving parental functioning among veterans with TBI. With its focus on adaptive
interactions and building a healthy child-parent bond, attachment theory offers a